I've just finished Chew Volume 1: Taster's Choice by John Layman and Rob Guillory, and I am hooked on this series. It's the kind of graphic novel with a premise so outrageous that it just works. Chew is my current guilty pleasure.
In the first volume, we meet Tony Chu, a detective who has just recently been recruited by the Special Crimes Division of the FDA. Tony Chu has a very unusual talent. He's a cibopathic, a person who sees in his mind impressions from the food he's just taken. If he eats an apple, he sees how and when it was harvested and who picked it. If he eats a burger, he gets glimpses on how the cow was slaughtered.
Chu's talent is so prized by the division because he can actually solve murders with it. But of course, it would mean having to take a bite of the dead person's body. Gross stuff, but so damn good. In Taster's Choice, we discover that the US is now at a time when eating farm-grown chicken has become illegal. Everyone has been reduced to eating the fake stuff. There's probably a conspiracy involved with this, but the first volume just hints at it. Something to discover in the next volumes.
I am loving Chew because of its humor. It's a graphic novel that doesn't take itself seriously. (How can you, with such an out-of-this-world story line?) Lots of jokes are scattered in the panels. And superb one-liners too! But make no mistake, Chew is still, at its core, a detective story. A very good hard-boiled one at that. And the twist at the end involving one of the main characters is one you don't really see coming. I'm so in.
Read this book if:
- You have strong feelings about your food.
- You wanna go vegan.
- Your instagram account is filled with pictures of food.